PCWorld


Anki is shutting down, but its adorable Cozmo and Vector robots deserve a new home

PCWorld

According to a report from Recode, Anki, the company responsible for making small AI-tuned robots with giant personalities is shutting down after it ran out of money. Recode says the company is forced to close its doors "after a new round of financing fell through at the last minute." For anyone who ponied up a couple hundred bucks to buy one of Anki's robots, it's a bummer. While the company confirmed its closure to Crunchbase, it hasn't said how it will handle support for existing models, and the news will surely affect future development of the platform. While Anki made a name for itself through its robots' Wall-E-like personalities and expressions, the underlying technology is equally impressive.


Remo RemoBell W video doorbell review: High-end features, but not best in class

PCWorld

Remo jumped into the video doorbell product with both feet, so to speak, launching not one but two doorbell cameras at very different price points. We generally panned the budget-priced RemoBell S ($99). The $199 RemoBell W is significantly better, but it's still not best in class. Both Remo video doorbells depend on the presence of low-voltage wiring, so neither is an easy-to-recommend candidate if your home doesn't already have a doorbell. If your home does, or if you're willing to pull wire to the location you want to install it, the RemoBell W is the far better of the two.


Ask Alexa and Google Assistant to open your garage door with these low-priced smart remotes

PCWorld

Garage door openers are certainly convenient, but compared to the connected devices around our homes, they're nor very smart. But it doesn't have to be that way. Today, you can choose from two smart garage door remotes at all-time low Amazon prices to beef up your existing system: the Chamberlain MyQ for $50Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $80, or the Nexx Garage for $70Remove non-product link, down from a list price of $100. The MyQ smart garage door hub connects to any compatible garage door opener and Wi-Fi to bring smarts to your existing garage setup. Once connected, you'll be able to use the app to open and close your door, get alerts when the door opens, closes, or is left open too long, and schedule automatic close times.


This week in games: Lego Star Wars returns, Ubisoft gives away Assassin's Creed: Unity after Notre Dame fire

PCWorld

I've said for years that Assassin's Creed is more impressive for its art nowadays than the games themselves, but still, who would've guessed that one day Assassin's Creed would be used to restore a priceless piece of architectural history? That news, plus a new Lego Star Wars, an Old Republic expansion and potential film adaptation, details for Netflix's Witcher series, a remake of cult classic shooter XIII, and more. This is gaming news for April 15 to 19. This week's first freebie is a big one, relatively speaking. You probably heard that Cath├ędrale Notre-Dame de Paris caught on fire this week.


The smarter, better Ring Video Doorbell Pro is $50 off and comes with a free Echo Dot

PCWorld

Amazon's got an unstoppable deal right now for a smart doorbell: The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is on sale for $199. That's the usual $50 discount we've seen before on this item, but on top of that, Amazon's throwing in a free Echo Dot. The third-generation Echo Dot is usually $50 (albeit currently on sale for $40), but it's not clear if you get the second or third generation mini speaker with this deal. It connects to your Wi-Fi via 802.11b/g/n and you can check-in remotely to see who's at your door. The Pro also works with Amazon's Alexa digital assistant, which allows you to use the smart speaker for two-way talk with whoever's at your door.


Heaven's Vault review: In search of lost time

PCWorld

The wood is weather-worn, rough edges smoothed by untold hundreds of years spent floating through space, but still a few symbols remain, meticulously carved into the surface. It's a few words, I think, and the wood was part of a prow--the only remaining bit of a long-lost shipwreck. But I can't quite make out what it says. I recognize a few symbols, one for action and one I associate with movement, and the grouping of glyphs that represents "Me." I'm going to have to make some guesses though.


Anker's Roav Bolt brings Google Assistant to your car's 12V socket, even with an iPhone

PCWorld

If you want to summon Google Assistant in your car, you basically have two options: Enable "Hey Google" and Smart Lock on your Android phone or launch Android Auto (should you be lucky enough to have a car with it built in). But with the new Roav Bolt, Anker gives us a third option, and even iPhone users can get in on it. Like the Alexa-powered Roav Viva, the Bolt plugs into your car's 12V socket and connects via Bluetooth or an auxiliary jack. A pair of USB ports lets you keep your phone charged while driving, and a single button on the front lets you manually summon Google Assistant. Otherwise, the Bolt is all about its noise-canceling microphones, which should provide better voice pick-up than the mic on your phone.


Best smart speakers: Which deliver the best combination of digital assistant and audio performance?

PCWorld

Your message has been sent. There was an error emailing this page. You don't need to live in a smart home to benefit from a Wi-Fi-connected smart speaker. Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and other digital assistants can help you in dozens of ways, and you don't have to lift a finger to summon them--just speak their names. If you already know you want a smart speaker, scroll down for our top recommendations.


Vivint's Outdoor Camera Pro can detect someone casing your home

PCWorld

Vivint Smart Home has announced the Outdoor Camera Pro, a new security camera that it says can detect a potential intruder and warn them they are being watched, encouraging them to leave the area. If the camera detects someone hanging around a monitored area, it sounds a warning tone, turns on a red LED encircling the camera's lens, and sends a push notification to your smartphone. You can customize the schedule when lurker monitoring is active, so you're not overwhelmed with alerts. Like the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, Vivint's new outdoor camera is outfitted with a 4K HDR image sensor, but both cameras have lower bandwidth requirements than the new Arlo Ultra 4K camera because they stream video in 1080p resolution. The advantage of using a higher-resolution image sensor comes into play when you zoom the recorded footage to examine details, such as facial features or to read a car's license plate.


Logitech Z606 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker System review: Affordable immersive audio

PCWorld

"Surround sound system" and "affordable" aren't words you often see together, but with the Z606 Logitech has put immersive audio within grasp of modest budgets. The Bluetooth-enabled 5.1 system delivers 160 watts of peak power and can pump out sound from TVs, computers, mobile devices, Blu-ray/DVD players, and video game consoles. It's not audiophile quality--and for just $130 you wouldn't expect it to be--but it's a low-risk upgrade from your devices' native speakers. The satellite speakers measure 7.01 x 4.33 x 3.42 inches, and weigh a pound apiece. Each has a 2.5-inch driver and bass port.